While many businesses have closed due to the pandemic, those deemed “essential” remain open.
Grocery stores, gas stations, liquor stores, pet stores and pharmacies are defined as “essential.”. Some businesses only remain open for pick up, such as restaurants, Kohl’s and Best Buy
Some local governments in places like Vermont, Michigan, Indiana, Colorado and Missouris have banned retailers such as Walmart, Costco, and Target from selling non- essential items.
In some states, though, the sale of nonessential items has been banned even at essential stores. In late March, Vermont’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development directed “big box” retailers including Walmart, Target and Costo to stop “in-person sales of non-essential items in order to reduce the number of people into the stores,” according to a state news release.
The directive prohibited the sale of arts and crafts, beauty, clothing, consumer electronics, entertainment, and jewelry among the noted “non-essential items.”
In California, clothing retailers and department stores remain closed because the businesses are considered non-essential. Macys, Nordstrom, Nike, Abercrombie & Fitch,are among the name-brand stores now shuttered. Electronics stores, bookstores and hotels etc., have closed their stores across the United states.
“The main things people are buying are fridges and freezers, those are selling out fast” said Emma Barragan, a Best Buy worker in the Tracy warehouse.
Amazon.com said all its warehouses in the U.S and Europe would receive only essential products until April 5. The online retail giant counts baby products, health and household items, beauty and personal care, grocery, and pet supplies as essentials. It has since expanded nonessential items.
Delayed shipping has made it harder for those seeking non-essential purchases to get items.
Barnes & Nobles, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, and office depot are now offering curbside services and aren’t allowing more than a certain amount of people into stores.
Sonia Vasquez, a worker in a small Mexican store, said that they must hold doors closed in order to prevent a lot of people coming into the store.
In Springfield, Missouri, on April 4th, news reports say that Walmart locations there stopped selling non-essential items, according to the Springfield News-Leader. This change has occurred in effort to reduce any virus transmission.
Walmarts in Missouri have put signs up in certain aisles, letting their customers know that certain items have been deemed non- essential and will not be for sale.
California has, so far, taken no such action to ban the non-essential selling of goods at big-box retailers.